It was double trouble for West Brom Basketball club, as they first suffered defeat at home to MLC, before a closely fought contest with Lordswood also failed to produce a winning result.
West Brom hosted MLC after a short break from league action, but with a number of players unavailable, Liam Sheridan’s side consisted of just five seniors.
Their lack of experience showed early in the match, with the visitors opening up a quick lead, punishing a leaky home defense with a strong inside presence and quick transition baskets.
The hosts seemingly couldn’t cope with the size of their opponents, and through the second quarter the lead ballooned once more, effectively ending the contest before the half-time buzzer sounded.
Whilst Sheridan tried to fire up his charges, West Brom failed to find their offensive rhythm as they attempted to stop the bleeding, eventually letting MLC cruise to a comfortable 104-60 win.
Just a matter of days later, West Brom faced a trip to fellow promoted side Lordswood, once again with only five senior players available for selection.
But in stark contrast to the previous game, the side came out scorching, quickly firing their way into an advantage, stunning the hosts in the process.
The ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performance from the previous game was clearly visible on the defensive side of the ball too, with the visitors scrapping for possession and forcing turnovers from the Bartley Green based side.
With the game swinging back and forth between the sides, all four quarters saw several lead changes, and with Luke Hatfield and Michal Banczer combining for 57 points, it looked as though West Brom might be able to pull out a shock result.
However, the hosts fought their way ahead in the final minutes behind a punishing physical approach, eventually claiming a five-point win, with the final score 83-78.
Despite to double defeat, Sheridan was proud of his players’ performance, especially being so shorthanded.
“The MLC game, we just got blown out I think.” he said.
“That game was over sometime in the second quarter, which was unacceptable really. But I think we turned up against Lordswood and we had spells where we played really well.
“Overall I don’t think this was our best game but we competed. We said after the MLC game that we wanted to come to Lordwood and compete and the result will take care of itself.
“We did that, we did compete, and although we didn’t win we’ll try and take a positive from the loss.
The player/coach was also quick to mention that the reduced numbers didn’t help his side’s cause and that he intends to add to the roster in the off-season, after the completion of the playoffs.
“We definitely want to [bring some more faces in], we’ve got a mens development team and we have a few other sessions so we need to try and bring through some players from those.
“It’s a shame [we didn’t have a full roster], life commitments are starting to affect the team which is unfortunate. But we have to accept what it is and try to build on it next season.
“We started the season very well, it’s a shame so many people have got so many commitments right now.”
West Brom’s final game of the regular season will go ahead this Friday, and despite the recent poor form, getting a win at home is now all that’s on Sheridan’s mind.
“I think it’s very important that we come out and put in a good team performance and finish the season with a win moving into the playoffs.
“Obviously, other fixtures are going to depend on this but if we win this last game we could sew up a fourth placed finish which will give us home-court advantage in the first round which is a big thing for our team.”
The mens team finish the regular season this Friday as they host Churchbridge, 8pm tip-off at George Salter Academy.
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